Author's Note: Having recovered from a dreadful case of writer's block I now bring you this newest twisted tale.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters represented herein and am making no profit from this story.
There was only one mirror.
Only one tiny mirror lay within in the strange underground house where the mysterious Phantom lived. It innocently rested within the guest bathing chamber, far away from the eyes of the one who never wished to look within. There only by his kindness and desperate desire to please.
Or so she thought.
It had been an accidental find. He had left, gone to collect supplies aboveground, for his cupboards were quite bare. Alone in the curious house and free from his disturbing gaze, she had wandered about, exploring his dark realm. Treasures from around the world lay here and there, expensive and ancient and exquisite. Golden statues of heathen gods, jeweled boxes full of trinkets, silks and satins, a collection of the world's beauty any museum would be envious of.
A jade dragon perched atop the bookshelf. Its onyx eyes glittered in the pale candlelight and its ruby talons sparkled and glimmered against its scaled hide. The artistry was magnificent, the work of a master. Pulling over a chair, she daintily climbed up for a closer look. Viewed in such close proximity, the dragon was breathtaking, every tiny detail perfectly captured in stone. Reaching her tiny hand out, she gently touched the cool creature, in awe. Venturing further her fingers brushed across its cool hide, trailing up its sinuous neck and caressing its blocky head. Running her fingers lower, she jumped back suddenly as the golden teeth pricked her finger.
A movement caught her eye. Across the room, mostly in shadow, something had moved atop the other shelf, just as she had jerked her hand back. She frowned momentarily, thinking of rats or other unpleasant things that lived below. Craning her head forward she leaned towards the unknown thing, loath to dismount her perch if something foul was in the room with her. Listening intently for some minutes she decided that whatever it was must have left for there was no sound to be heard. Still…
Curiosity had always gotten the best of her. Ever so slowly she descended from the chair. Silently as a cat she crept across the room to the other shelf. Nothing moved. All was still.
Frowning once again she returned to the chair, determined to solve this new mystery. Dragging it over to the tall shelf she once again climbed up to see. The shelf was shadowed, away from the candlelight and anything might be lurking there. Chewing her bottom lip in indecision, she waited several more minutes before gathering the courage to reach her hand out.
The coldness of the smooth object startled her. Jerking her hand back quickly she gasped, sure that any moment something terrible was going to happen. After several heart pounding moments of utter silence, her tiny fingers once again ventured forth into the shadows. Finding the object once more she carefully found its edges and, grasping it tightly, brought it forth into the light.
It was a mirror.
A plain, ordinary, everyday mirror; nothing exceptional or beautiful about it at all. No fancy ornamentation etched its glass, no gilded frame held it. It was simply a single piece of reflective glass in a wooden frame. Enchanted with this new puzzle, for why would a man who hated mirrors have one hidden here, she pondered over its hidden secret as she minutely examined its every angle.
Perhaps it was a magic mirror, she thought, though it showed no signs of being magical. There was nothing it could hide within, as it was just a piece of glass. There did not seem to be anything at all about it to suggest that it was anything but a mirror. But the thought still plagued her: why?
The minutes ticked by and yet still no answer revealed its self to her eager mind. Dozens of possible ideas sprung into her head, each as strange as the last but none seemed to fit. The cold reality of the glass crushed her fanciful imaginings as quickly as she thought them up. It was just a mirror.Casting her thoughts further she willed herself to solve this mystery. If there was nothing special about the mirror itself, perhaps its placement would give some clue? Frowning once more she thought about this new idea. The shelf was high enough that if she had not been standing atop the chair she would never have seen it there. Even Erik, tall as he was shouldn't have been able to look into it, though she doubted he did. He would easily have been able to reach it though. From the angle it had been sitting at it would have only reflected the dragon…
Turning carefully in the chair she glanced back at the beast. It looked as it did before, the same green skin and piercing eyes, nothing that would solve the mystery of the mirror. Peering intently she pondered the angle of its body, the tilt of the mirror where it had rested atop the shelf would have reflected its raised claws and fanged mouth. Squinting she tried to see if there was cavity within its toothy maw where the secret might hide. The shadows obscured her vision, tempting her insatiably curiosity. Gently setting the mirror back where she found it, she quickly scurried down the chair. Pulling it once more across the floor, she hurriedly clambered to the top.
She was so close to the solution, she just knew it. Ever so carefully she inched her dainty finger into its mouth, wary of the sharp teeth. The solid stone startled her. There was no opening. Frustrated she pushed against, perhaps it was like his trapdoors, one just had to know the trick. When nothing happened she angrily jerked her hand back, slicing it on the jagged canines. With a muffled yelp she clutched the wounded finger to her, watching in morbid awe as the blood trickled forth. The crimson liquid glistened in an eerie mockery of the ruby talons resting so innocently before her. The dragon's eyes seemed to mock her, laughing at the foolish girl who could not solve so simple a puzzle. Such cruel eyes…
Its eyes! That was it! It wasn't the mouth; it was the eyes that the mirror reflected! Jumping down with a loud thump, she rushed across once more, the chair squeaking behind her in complaint of its mistreatment. Scowling at the shadows the shrouded the mirror above, she grabbed the candle form the table and leapt upon the chair which groaned under her light weight though she paid it no mind. Setting the candle on the dusty shelf top, she gazed into the mirror, her eyes bright with renewed excitement. A quick look proved that she had to be right; the dragon's dark eyes were clearly visible in the mirror's face. Looking deeper she saw that its gaze was completely directed in the opposite corner of the room, up towards the ceiling near the fireplace.
With a cry of delight she dropped with a jolt from the chair and scampered across the room, the chair protesting in its creaking voice behind her. Pouncing up, she scanned the shadowy ceiling intently, determined to win the game. There! There, right there upon the white ceiling was a slightly darker spot. It was the answer, she was sure of it! Eagerly she reached out to it, frowning greatly when she proved to be too short. Stretching out to her full length, fingers painfully extended she still could not touch that dratted speck! It wasn't fair! To be so close and to be thwarted by a stupid dot! Frustrated beyond belief she violently stomped her foot.
The antique chair had had enough of her abuse.
With a loud snap! the padded seat splintered and ripped, tearing the lush velvet cushion. Caught off balance, she lurched forward against the chair's back toppling her straight onto the marble mantle. With a sickening crunch her skull shattered against the unyielding stone. Tumbling to the floor, broken and bloody, her body twitched in its death throes as her bright eyes slowly darkened forever. Silence reigned as onyx eyes kept eternal watch from above.
Erik frowned in irritation. He had been gone less than an hour and had returned home to find this. Muttering under his breath about the loss of a fine piece of furniture he took his time putting away his various supplies. The rug was clearly ruined as well; no point in trying to save it, experience had proven that the bloodstains were likely permanent. Returning to the room, he idly wondered what she could have possibly been doing to lead to her death. Foolish girl.
Turning his attention once more to the tiny body on the floor, he sighed. Meg might have been extremely annoying but there was no way she could simply disappear so throwing her remains in the lake was out of the question. Poor Christine would be devastated by the sudden death of her friend he suddenly thought. Who else better to comfort and console her in her time of mourning then he? Smiling in delight at this new revelation, he decided to just leave her where she lay for now.
A pained grimace crossed his features. His body was craving its favorite poison, and he might as well see to it first. She certainly wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Quickly he reached up to the shelf and collected the mirror. Pointedly keeping its reflection away from his face he lowered himself to his knees and set it gently upon the low table. Withdrawing a tiny syringe from the hidden compartment under the table he arranged the mirror to reflect the red wounds on his neck, artfully hidden by his high collared shirts. Ever so carefully he injected the delicious drug into his blood. Sighing in pleasure as it worked its magic he quickly replaced the mirror and disposed of the syringe. Sweet innocent Christine could check his scarred arms as often as she liked, she would never see proof of his lies. Glancing once more upon the still form beside him he frowned.
Only one problem was now left. What was he going to tell her mother?
A/N: Don't worry beloved, I'll get you your romantic story one day, just be patient.